WEARING OLD BONES // unusually happy

Jun 8, 2022

Most cats in the Marsh Group had gruffer personalities... you almost had to have one if you were going to make it within the wetlands long-term. Sometimes the land felt void too, sometimes your heart too would grow void and cold with it. Happiness was arguably scarcer than the prey, it took pushing over tons of rocks and peaking into cracks to find a glimmer of it. With his father terminally ill and his mother who'd undoubtedly follow shortly after him, Rust for a while had been lacking any sort of joy. Until now.

Heavy paws splash in the muck as he pads back into camp. He came back with nothing but swamp water dripping from his pelt to show from his outing, despite that... there was an unusual glimmer in his eyes. Excitement and joy.

Yellow eyes scan the clearing, searching for something- someone. He didn't find her, but knowing they'd cross paths soon again kept the joy and excitement flowing through him. He makes his way to the outskirts of one of the dens to sit down, there's something notably different about how the way he carries himself... It's small, but it's different from the way he usually sulked about hunched over.

Rust was in a rare good mood, and the cats of the Marsh group had his slowly budding romance with Howling Wind to thank for that. For quite sometime his group-mates had likely taken notice how he seemed to open up around her, how he sought her out, how he looked at her. He was smitten with her and not a cat in the land couldn't tell. At long last his flirts and efforts were coming to fruition... Rust truly believed this was the start of a new chapter of his life with someone he could grow old with, like his own parents had together.

//this is so cringe 4 some reason and I think its because I know they're legit gonna last for like 4 weeks LMAO. but he's absolutely SMITTEN and in love <3<3<3

"You're rather chipper today." Salamander mused, draped lackadaisically across a mossy boulder. Her words were dry and clinical with no judgement to be found. Instead, she stated what she perceived in a comment.

The tip of her tail twitched as her teal eyes examined Rust closely. Though not close to the tom, Salamander was aware how vastly out of character he felt.

"Care to enlighten me with the details of what caused such a shift?" It was neigh impossible to tell whether her intentions were genuine or simply meant as a way to lightly tease the tom.

"A hidden stash of catnip, perhaps?" Her tone shifted at last, expressing a bemused purr. Truthfully, though, she hoped he had an answer. The gloomy she-cat was in desperate need of a pick-me-up. ​

Ever watchful, Berry was not blind to the time that Furrows and Big Mama had been spending together. The former had earned his alias from only ever being seen frowning, but now a lightness graced his bark-brown features, and his spine stood straighter. Romance seemed far too much effort to Berry- and he was not particularly fond of the idea of it anyway. Many lived their life with a dream of having kits and finding a companion to live with, but... the idea of such a life was not present on Berry's list of priorities. He could see himself being much more fulfilled alone than he ever would be with another.

He understood not whether the connection that the two were beginning to form was romantic in nature- he had never been particularly good at reading intentions- but there was something about in the air, a sweetness in ember bright eyes that Berry had never seen from Furrows. Musing questions stumbled through the air toward the other tom, spilled from the mouth of an ashen she-cat, so he saw little need to interject. From where he lay he directed his attention, listening in but saying nothing. The only sig of eavesdropping to shift his scruffy form was the attentive tilt of a single ear.
Ash often prays his mother would decide to leave Briar's group, take him away so the two of them could live alone somewhere in the woods. No grouchy, irate felines for him to skirt around, no kittens his age to push and berate him for his looks... no one but him and his beautiful mother, living in peace, in quiet.

But Twilight loves Briar's group, adores the community and the conversation she gets to have. She is always pushing Ash to get along with the other cats, and he tries, but... they don't like him. He can't really help that, can he?

He is watching a group of similar-aged cats playfighting from afar when the uncharacteristically happy face on Rust catches his eye. Salamander, too, one of the adults who usually seems quiet serious and dour to him, seems to be in a playful mood. His spirits lift a bit--just a bit--and he creeps closer, wondering if his presence might be welcomed for once.

"M-maybe h-he found a friend," he ventures, then lowers his gaze to his paws, immediately embarrassed. Finding friends isn't hard for normal cats. Normal cats just have friends. They talk to others without having to think about it for hours. "O-or... well..." He's already made a fool of himself, but he can't run now. Mother taught him that it's rude to leave a conversation without being excused.
❝  The marshes wore happiness like a kitten standing in its mother's grand pawsteps. Canyons carved out and hardly touched by those desperate hopes. And just like those reminders'f something more wondrous than the life they led, happiness would be swept away the next time it rained. Still, he'd hardly be the sort to tear good times down for someone else. Rust's happiness is a welcome sight– 'least this way there'd be less of that oppressive frowning coming from his the older tom. He'd no need to see it in more places than on Flint's intractable face. From where he's lounged near Berry, Hound can even feel himself lightening up some. A spark of laughter bubbles up his throat, teeth bared in an electric grin at Ash's small shape. Despite the harshness of the noise, there's an easy warmth to his mirth.

"No point takin' it back now, Ash. Not that you're wrong." He flicks his tail as if to beckon the younger tom closer– as if a curling of his tail tip is invitation enough. "Old eyes don't get that soft without somethin' behind it, that's for sure."

  • n/a
  • ──── complete information can be found here.
    ──── hound. trans male, he/him pronouns only.
    ──── approximately 30 moons old, or 2.5 years.
    ──── bisexual with firm male preference; single.

    ──── a chocolate tabby with ( stylized ) low white and intense lime eyes.
    ──── lean and lanky,  with whiplike musculature and a long, quick stride.
    ──── hound's notable features include his impressive height (fifteen inches at the shoulder), the long scar across the left side of his face from nose to jaw, his very deep, dense fur, and the confident manner with which he conducts himself.